Mayor Jesse Arreguín and Councilmember Sophie Hahn unveiled a bold plan today to address the city’s homeless crisis, creating a path towards permanent housing and services for the City’s approximately 1000 homeless individuals.
The Pathways Project implements both interim and long term measures to address the homeless crisis in Berkeley, for the benefit of homeless individuals and to mitigate impacts on Berkeley’s streets, parks, commercial areas and neighborhoods. Emergency Interim Measures include creation of a STAIR Center (Center for Stability, Navigation and Respite), modelled after San Francisco’s successful Navigation Centers, which will provide a period of respite from the streets, and will connect homeless individuals with housing, family reunification and services. A Bridge Living Community will also be established, similar to the STAIR Center, but designed as a communal village for extended stay.
The Centerpiece of the Pathways Project is the 1000 Person Plan, which directs city staff to develop a comprehensive, innovative and meaningful plan to house and serve Berkeley’s 1000 homeless, building on existing structures and services and incorporating best practices, and to determine resources and funding that will be needed to realize the plan. This plan would be submitted for approval by Council by the end of 2017, allowing the Council to obtain funding and begin implementation of the 1000 Person Plan in 2018.
“Addressing homeless has been my biggest priority since day one of my administration” said Mayor Arreguín. “The Pathways Project will be a shining example of what we can achieve collectively to address major issues.”
Councilmember Hahn said “Homelessness is our home-grown refugee crisis, and we have a moral obligation to act. The Pathways Project offers a comprehensive, compassionate set of solutions that provide immediate humanitarian relief - and create pathways towards permanent housing and services.”
The Berkeley City Council will be voting on the Pathways Project at its April 4th, 2017 Meeting.